Looking to bounce back from two straight losses, the Seton Hall women’s basketball team travels to Marquette for the first of two meetings with the Golden Eagles this season.
The two teams meet after their originally scheduled first meeting on Jan. 8 was postponed due to inclement weather.
The Hall comes into Wednesday at 3-1 on the road in conference play, which is the best mark for the Pirates in Big East road affairs since the 2006-07 season.
Head coach Tony Bozzella’s team comes into Wednesday at seventh in the league, just a half-game back of Butler, which is No. 6 in the Big East, and a game back of fifth-place Marquette.
The Golden Eagles are powerful in the paint, boasting a +13.5 rebounding margin, which is the best in the country and one of the best in the country.
The Pirates come in with a +5.8 rebounding margin, but with junior forward Bra’Shey Ali questionable with a shoulder injury, The Hall could be really ailing down low.
Marquette senior forward Katherine Plouffe is the leading scorer in the Big East, averaging 18.3 points per game. On Saturday, the Golden Eagles flew past Georgetown, 77-54. Junior guard Arlesia Morse powered Marquette’s backcourt with 20 points in the first half, finishing with 21.
The game was tied at 16 with just over 11 minutes to go in the first half, but Morse hit on three treys in four possessions and Marquette never looked back. Her performance earned her a spot on the Big East Weekly Honor Roll.
The Pirates’ perimeter defense, which has had issues throughout this season, should not face too much pressure considering the Golden Eagles have shot just over 27 percent from beyond the arc this season.
On the other hand, The Hall needs to find perimeter shooting on Wednesday. After a performance against St. John’s that saw juniors Ka-Deidre Simmons and Alexis Brown go 10-of-30 from the field versus Marquette, the Pirates mainstay guards will look to rebound.
Saturday’s 0-for-12 performance from three-point range was the first time this season that SHU went without a triple in a game.
Ranking second in the league in scoring, sophomore wing Tabatha Richardson-Smith (18.2 points per game) needs to find a rhythm, considering that the Pirates’ frontcourt will not be at complete full strength even with Ali in there.
Defensively, it all comes down to whether the blue and white can implement Bozzella’s quick style and turn it into steals. The Pirates are averaging a league-leading 11.8 steals per game in conference contests.
Following Wednesday’s affair, Seton Hall hosts Villanova on Sunday at 2 p.m. before heading back to the road for a two-game trip. With the race intensifying, the door is open for a Seton Hall team that can pull into fifth in the Big East with a win Wednesday.
John Fanta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.